BYRON BAY, AUS (CelebrityAccess) – Australia’s largest music festival has turned into a mud pit, forcing organizers to cancel the first day of acts as the festival grounds turned into a mog bog and flooded tents.
Fans had been excited about the return of Splendour in the Grass, a three-day festival featuring international acts like Liam Gallagher, Tyler The Creator, and The Strokes, after a two-year pandemic-enforced hiatus. However, mother nature had other ideas for those fans as non-stop rainy weather bombarded the New South Wales coast, creating haphazard conditions at the festival grounds near Byron Bay, the coastal town popular with the Hollywood elite.
As they canceled Friday’s program, organizers said the “weather and staff shortages were all worse than expected.”
“A significant weather system is currently sitting off the east coast and may reach land later today bringing more rainfall,” organizers said in a statement published on the event’s Twitter page.
Statement from Splendour in the Grass organizers pic.twitter.com/zcROtIEKex
— SplendourintheGrass (@SITG) July 22, 2022
“In the interest of patron safety and consultation with all relevant emergency services, we have decided to err on the side of caution and cancel performances on the main stages today only.”
About 50,000 people were expected to attend this year’s festival, most of whom paid between $130 for a single day pass and $275 for three full days.
Pictures and videos posted on social media showed pooling muddy water and dozens of festival goers dressed in ponchos braving the heavy downpours. Many festival attendees were commenting on the bad organization of the event, sharing their “nightmare experiences” on social media of dealing with traffic jams and stuck vehicles as people tried to get into and out of the festival grounds.
Splendour in the Grass 2022. pic.twitter.com/LZtO643Mlt
— Tobi Loftus (@tobiloftus) July 22, 2022
Trying to get a vodka red bull at splendour in the grass this year pic.twitter.com/8b64txSkyY
— jack james (@cockroachemoji) July 21, 2022
One attendee, who said he’d been stuck in his car for 8.5 hours, told CNN that this was Australia’s ‘Fyre Festival.” The horrendous festival gone wrong in the Bahamas in 2017 that the documentary said offered little more than dirty port-a-potties, tents, and wrapped sandwiches. “No staff, no information, think this is Australia’s Fyre festival. A hell scape at Splendour,” he said.
But the organizers vowed the show could would continue on Saturday and Sunday. “Please be assured that our event team is working very hard to provide the best experience possible under the current circumstances,” they said in a statement.
“We look forward to Saturday and Sunday programming moving ahead as planned.”
Experts claim the climate crisis had increased the frequency and intensity of the La Nina weather system, generating above-average rainfall. Devastating floods hit New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, earlier this month, as businesses are still closed in that area.